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2015-16 Budget: Not every Australian will benefit, vulnerable people miss out again

Published: 12 May 2015

The President of the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW), Professor Karen Healy, says tonight’s budget has made no changes to the Youth, Austudy and Newstart allowances that will continue to be paid at rates well below the poverty line.

‘These allowance rates will continue to decline because they are indexed to CPI, rather than the average male income, even though CPI indexation was rejected by this Government for the Aged pension because it is fundamentally unfair.’

While Treasurer Joe Hockey said there was ‘something for everyone’ in his 2015-16 budget, Professor Healy says young vulnerable people will continue waiting for four weeks before being able to access the benefits they need for basic living.

The AASW is concerned that tonight’s budget also shows no sign of a turnaround on unfair higher education funding proposals,’ Professor Healy said.

‘There has been much talk about a smarter nation yet measures still pushed by the Government will create a divided higher education system, a system that will seriously disadvantage people who come from economically stretched communities.’

Although there will be some winners in the reformed and improved child care system, Professor Healy says the AASW is concerned about the children of unemployed parents who will be disadvantaged by the very strict funding provisions.

‘Child care should not be an employment initiative. Every child should have access to early childhood education,’ she said tonight.

The AASW asks Australians to look beyond the parts of the budget that benefit them directly to see how it may affect disadvantaged sections of our community.

Australians should not be distracted from the plight of vulnerable people who are still affected by the Government’s seriously unfair policies,’ Professor Healy said.

The AASW represents over 8,500 professional social workers from around Australia.

To organise an interview with Professor Healy, please contact:

Emma Pegrum
Media and Marketing Manager
Phone 02 6199 5011 Mobile 0408 200 191

AASW - Australian Association of Social Workers